Advancing Marine Policy Toward Ecosystem-Based Management by Eliciting Public Preferences
The implementation of marine protected areas, such as marine reserves and customary fishing areas, is considered an important step toward advancing ecosystem-based management (EBM), but has proven difficult due to resistance from well-organized fishing interests. This raises the question of how the values of less well-organised parties can be brought into the political decision-making process. We summarise the results of a discrete choice survey of the general public in New Zealand that elicits willingness to make tradeoffs among taxes and four socio-ecological attributes: biodiversity, maintenance of Maori customary practices, and restrictions on commercial and recreational fishing. We apply cluster analysis, which provides information about political ‘market shares’ of respondent preferences, and derive estimates of average public willingness to pay for various policy scenarios. Both analyses reveal broad-scale support for conservation of biodiversity and cultural practices, providing quantifiable input from the public in the process of marine space reallocation.